Saturday 3 February 2024

Wallasey: Cask and Architecture

Yesterday I suffered a bit of a pub failure:  I was in Chinatown for some shopping so I thought this would be a good opportunity to tick the Liverpool Marina, where I last drank back in 1999.  You can imagine my irritation when I walked all the way round the docks to find a notice saying the bar was closed.  I marched grumpily back to James Street and got the train to Lime Street, where I cheered myself up with a wonderful pint of Oakham Citra in the Crown before getting the train home.  (It could have been worse, at first I thought there was no Er Guo Tou Jiu in the Chinese supermarket which would have rendered the whole walk pointless, but they had simply moved it to a different place.)

Back to today:  As is often the case nowadays Merseyrail was in a mess, but my train turned up on time and I rode in 507001 which has been repainted in its original livery to celebrate the end of these units.  I hope to travel on the farewell tour in May.

I began my Wallasey research in the Nelson:

This is a very well done chain dining pub in a rather fine building.

I was pleased to see two handpumps and my pint of Yardbird was excellent, and it was served in a Yardbird glass. 

Everton were on the TV, one group of lads might have been watching but most of the limited population of the pub were not.  One or two were watching racing on a different channel.

I looked around.  Compared with other chain pubs this one seems better; there's nothing exciting about the decor, it is just beautifully done and maintained.  For architecture fans the inside does not reflect the outside, there is very little original apart from some leaded glass in the windows.

The menu is standard fare with fish and chips at £12, from my seat I couldn't see anyone eating.

Next, the Lighthouse:

This time the architecture aficionados will recognise a classic 1960s construction, and once again it has been substantially modified inside.

Just like the Nelson this is a Greene King dining operation, but with one big difference:  It is busy in here.  I was OK for a table but most of them were occupied by family groups, many of them eating.  Fish and chips is £13.19 so it's not a food price differential that causes everyone to come here.

There were four handpumps on the counter but the only ale available was IPA which came out of the Old Golden Hen pump.  This hints at poor cellar work but my pint was of excellent quality, so no complaint.  It was significantly cheaper at £3.70 than the £5.40 I paid in the Nelson.  Perhaps that's why everyone comes here!

Again Everton were on the telly, and again not many were watching.

The sounds in here were faint football commentary mostly drowned out by happy chatter.

Just a few yards further along the road is the Farmers Arms:

Another architectural gem, this time there is no doubt about when it was built as it says 1924 on the front.

The inside is beautiful with dark wood panels and leaded glass partitions splitting it into a number of separate areas.  I am most definitely not an expert, but I'd say much of the interior is original.

Three cask ales are on offer and I chose a guest from Conway.  The barmaid took my money while it was settling.  Next, she topped up a pint from the IPA pump.  "No No, Conway" I said, "I know" was the reply, then I realised it was the previous order she was finishing.  Oh dear, there's only one thing worse than correcting the bar staff, and that is correcting the bar staff when they are right!  Oooops.  Never mind, no damage done and I soon had the third excellent pint of the day.

Everton were on the TV in here too, the majority of the regulars were watching.  I retreated to one of the side areas to drink my ale in solitude.

I contemplated the survey so far and decided that three quality pints is an excellent score.  Can we make it four, or even five?

Everton equalised in injury time.  (I could hear the commentary but I couldn't see a telly from my quiet corner.)  Finally, full time and a good result, I think.  Suddenly some footie fans who had been in a back room appeared and left the pub.

For my next move I walked past Sheridan's, saving it for later, and on to the Cheshire Cheese:

I cannot recall the source of the information but I marked this pub as closed in 2021, so I was rather chuffed when undertaking this morning's pre-flight checks to find it isn't, as it was something of a gem.  Is it still?

Well, as a cask ale destination it is perhaps not as good as I remember, there were only three on, but my Boltmaker was excellent, so no criticism:  One is enough, three is wonderful.  I'd forgotten just how good Boltmaker is; a slight hint of toffee raises it from classic bitter to something rather special.

As a pleasant pub, it is just as good, with multiple areas around the two part servery.  Customers were fairly sparse but it wasn't completely dead.

The TVs here were showing rugger, England were losing. Did I hear there is a campaign to ban school children from playing rugby?  It never did me any harm - Apart from instilling a lifelong aversion to participating in any sports.  Actually, that's not harm that's a benefit!

More regulars arrived, perused the pumps, and also chose Boltmaker.

To complete the Wallasey pubs, back to the former Black Horse, now Sheridans:

Another fine building, brewers' Tudor is the style.

My quality cask streak couldn't last for ever; none in here so I finished the day with a Carling.

Ale choice notwithstanding, this is another rather good boozer, pleasantly done out, spotlessly clean and if I'm allowed a negative, rather chilly.  Custom was a little sparse in here although the place was ticking over, and some people were eating.

Sky sports news was on a telly above my head, no one was watching.  (Where's Jeff Stelling?  Oh, he's retired.) 

Judging by the signage, accommodation is an important part of the operation, the cynic in me says no one would want to stay here in the middle of nowhere Wirral, but hopefully I'm wrong.

A fine selection of pubs for today's research and four out of five offering quality cask which is a bit better than last week's zero out of five!  Time for home.

Pub of the day: Cheshire Cheese
Beer of the day: Boltmaker
Miles walked: 1.5
Maybe coming soon: Fazakerley, Bebington, Crosby, Anfield

1 comment:

  1. Phil - I'll try and catch up with you when we get time to visit the Wirral. Keen to do the Hilbres.

    Good to see you find some cask for a change !